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From Doon with Death

From Doon with Death

The first Wexford novel published by John Long in

Back in the 1970s, I was a trainee hack down in Devon and an avid consumer of crime fiction. I can still remember the jolt of reading Detective Inspector Reg Wexford’s beginnings in From Doon With Death and being bowled over. It’s one of a handful of crime novels that shaped my own ambitions in the field …

Val McDermid 1

The trampled grass led to the body of Margaret Parsons. With no useful clues and a victim known only for her mundane life, Chief Inspector Wexford is baffled until he discovers Margaret’s dark secret - a collection of rare books, each inscribed from a secret lover and signed only as ‘Doon’.

Who is Doon? And could the answer hold the key to Wexford solving his first case?

I based him (Wexford) on other people’s fictional detectives, a bit on Maigret I suppose, and quite a lot on Fred Fellows, a police chief in Hillary Waugh’s books.

Ruth Rendell


Contemporary Reads 3


  1. Essay on Inspector Wexford Penguin Books. ↩︎

  2. The People’s Detective, ITV 2010. ↩︎

  3. Book links may earn this site a small commission. ↩︎